On-Campus Employment for F-1/J-1 Students


F-1 and J-1 students are eligible to work on-campus while attending classes. The work does not need to be related to your field of study. You must maintain legal F-1 or J-1 status while engaging in on-campus employment. J-1 students sponsored by the University of Michigan should complete the On-Campus Employment Authorization form to obtain written approval from International Center.


  • Earn extra $$
  • Work experience looks good on resume
  • Meet new people and make friends
  • Develop communication skills and various other skills
  • Learn to manage your time and juggle many projects at once
  • Recommendation letters and personal references for future employment or education

Definition of On-Campus Employment

  • On-campus employment includes work done as a teaching or research assistant as well as jobs in the university library, dormitory dining facilities, laboratories, and administrative offices.
  • On-campus also includes employment with on-location commercial firms which provide services for students on campus, such as stores or restaurants located in a University owned building (Michigan Union, Michigan League, Pierpont Commons).


  • You must be enrolled full time during fall and winter semesters
  • You may work up to 20 hours per week while school is in session during the academic year (fall and winter semesters)
  • You may work full-time (more than 20 hours per week) on-campus during official university holidays, breaks, and vacation period (spring and summer semester for most students)
  • You may not engage in on-campus employment after the program end date listed on your I-20

You are not eligible for the U-M work-study program. The work-study program provides jobs for students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay for education expenses. Under the work-study program, a percentage of a student's earnings is paid through federal or state funds, and the remainder is paid by the student's employer.

Note: J-1 students sponsored by the University of Michigan should complete the On-Campus Employment Authorization form to obtain written approval from International Center.

What to Consider

  • Preferably, the job should be one which looks good on resume and provides learning experiences and valuable skills (communication skills, computer skills, etc.)
  • Try to choose a job which might eventually lead to a better job. For example, work as a grader, then go on to become a teaching assistant (TA).
  • It is quite possible for an international student to be hired as a Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) or as a Research Assistant (RA). Both GSIs and RAs generally receive tuition, a stipend and university benefits. You may receive a GSI or RA award either from your department or another department on campus. For most departments, an international student applying for a GSI position must take a test called the International Teaching Assistant English Evaluation, or the ITA Test. If you would like to become a GSI, be sure to ask the department when you should take the ITA test in order to be considered for a teaching assistantship.

Where to Look for On-Campus Jobs

Applying for On-Campus Jobs

  • There is no central hiring office for student jobs. You must visit each individual office and ask for information there.
  • Be sure to ask about application deadlines or any required meetings.

Tips for Getting a Job

  • Don't be afraid to ask for what you want
  • Have confidence
  • Approach prospective employers
  • Practice answering questions employers might ask
  • Good personal hygiene and appropriate dress

U.S. Taxes

When you get an on-campus job, you will be required to pay tax on your earnings. You may qualify for exemptions if your home country has a tax treaty with the United States. Please work with your employer the U-M Payroll Office to ensure you complete the necessary paperwork. For detailed information on U.S. taxes, refer to Taxes and Social Security.

Documentation Needed After Getting a Job

When you get an on-campus job, you will need to complete the following forms:

  • U-M Student Temporary Employment Form
  • I-9 Form (Employment Eligibility Verification)
  • State and federal withholding allowance certificate (W-4) forms
  • Direct Deposit Authorization Form if you would like to have your paychecks directly deposited into your bank account